Skip to main content
  1. Home
  2. Council tax and benefits
  3. Housing benefits and Universal Credit
  4. Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary housing payments

In some circumstances we can give people suffering exceptional hardship an extra payment called Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to help with housing costs.

To claim you must be receiving Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. 

You will need to prove that you are suffering from financial hardship due to a shortfall in your benefits.

You may have a shortfall because of: 

  • a reduction in Housing Benefit for under occupation in the social rented sector, particularly those customers with disabled children who are unable to share a bedroom, customers who have had disability adaptations to the property or families where children live between two households
  • a reduction in Housing Benefit as a result of Local Housing Allowance restrictions
  • a rent increase resulting in a household potentially becoming homeless
  • a Valuation Office Agency decision resulting in the maximum rent being restricted
  • non-dependant deductions reducing the level of Housing Benefit payable
  • the requirement of a deposit or rent in advance for a property that the customer is yet to move in to.
  • rent arrears jeopardising the tenancy 
  • the Benefit Cap, in certain circumstances consideration will also be given to those who have experienced benefit reductions as a result of the Benefit Cap being applied

Discretionary housing payments exemptions

You cannot apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with:

  • ineligible service charges, for example, water rates or support charges
  • increases in rent payable due to outstanding arrears
  • benefits that have been reduced as a result of certain benefit related offences
  • Housing Benefit that is currently suspended

Apply for discretionary housing payments

Discretionary Housing Payments are not housing benefit payments; they are awarded on a case-by-case basis for help with housing costs. 

Complete the online form to apply, you will need a list of your income and expenses.

Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment

What happens next

When your application has been assessed we will let you know our decision. We aim to assess claims within 28 days of receipt of all supporting information. If you disagree with the decision made you cannot appeal against it as awards are at our discretion. If you would like to discuss the decision contact us within one calendar month: